Tallest Wave Ever Recorded: 1,720 feet! 

The tallest wave ever recorded measured to 1,720 feet, but when and where was this?

Most recently there has been more accurately measured waves recorded measuring 62.3 feet, however this was not caused by a tsunami.

What Is The Tallest Wave Recorded? 

The record for the tallest waves ever recorded across our world's oceans is held by the Lituya Bay, Alaska, tsunami of July 9, 1958, resulting from a massive rockslide triggered by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. 

This geological event displaced around 40 million cubic yards of material into the Gilbert Inlet, generating a megatsunami. The abrupt shift in water led to waves that reached unprecedented heights, washing away trees and leaving an enduring mark on the landscape. 

Documented as the largest tsunami in modern times, the megatsunami measured between 100 feet (30 meters) and 300 feet (91 meters), solidifying its place in history and science books as a monumental natural event.

Tallest Wave Ever Measured Accurately 

The World Meteorological Organization, known as the trusted source on ocean wave heights, has noted the highest recorded wave height in the world. The tallest wave measured accurately was 62.3 feet detected by a special floating device in the North Atlantic Ocean. 

This happened on February 4, 2013, between Iceland and the United Kingdom, thanks to strong winds caused by a cold front. 

Before this, the record was a slightly smaller wave at 60.0 feet on December 8, 2007, also in the North Atlantic Ocean. So, it's like the ocean's way of setting its own high scores!

What Ocean Has The Tallest Wave?

The North Atlantic Ocean is renowned for hosting some of the tallest waves globally, particularly during the winter months when powerful storm systems traverse the region. 

Coastal areas like Nazaré in Portugal, situated along the North Atlantic, have gained international acclaim for their towering 100ft waves, attracting surfers and ocean enthusiasts seeking the thrill of challenging swells. 

What Causes These Huge Waves To Form?

The formation of colossal waves in the North Atlantic is influenced by several factors. During the winter, intense low-pressure systems generate strong winds across the expansive ocean surface. 

These winds, combined with the vast fetch of the North Atlantic, contribute to the development of towering swells. 

The interaction between wind and water, along with specific coastal and oceanic features, plays a crucial role in shaping these impressive waves.

Tallest Wave Ever Recorded on Camera

Tallest Waves Recorded On Camera!

10 Tallest Waves in the World

  • Nazare, Portugal: Praia do Norte, Nazaré - Waves excede 100 feet.
  • Jaws (Peahi), Maui, Hawaii: Peahi, Maui - Waves well above 60 feet.
  • Teahupo'o, Tahiti: Teahupo'o - Waves above 20 feet.
  • Mavericks, California, USA: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay - Waves over 60 feet.
  • Belharra, France: Off the coast of France - Towering swells.
  • Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania: Shipstern Bluff - Waves surpassing 20 feet.
  • Puerto Escondido, Mexico: Zicatela Beach, Puerto Escondido - Waves over 20 feet.
  • Punta de Lobos, Chile: Punta de Lobos - Waves exceeding 20 feet.
  • Dungeons, South Africa: Near Cape Town - Waves over 20 feet.
  • Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia: Uluwatu - Waves exceeding 20 feet during specific swells.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Some of these waves are hard to imagine, but now you know just how incredible the ocean can be! Be sure to read up on some facts you didn't know about our oceans!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Tallest wave surfed in history?

Sebastian Steudtner on October 29, 2020, at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal, surfed an impressive 86 feet wave (26.21 meters).

How tall was the biggest tsunami?

The tallest tsunami ever recorded was approximately 1,720 feet (524 meters) high. This massive tsunami occurred in Lituya Bay, Alaska, in 1958.

Is every 7th wave the biggest?

No, the notion that every 7th wave is the biggest is a myth. Wave heights are influenced by various factors, and there is no predictable pattern regarding which wave in a set will be the largest.

Where is the world's heaviest wave?

The world's heaviest wave is often considered to be Teahupo'o in Tahiti. It is renowned for its powerful and barrelling waves that challenge even the most skilled surfers.

Why are Nazaré waves so big?

The waves in Nazaré, Portugal, are exceptionally big due to the presence of the Nazaré Canyon, an underwater canyon that funnels and amplifies ocean swells, creating massive waves.

What makes Mavericks waves so big?

Mavericks waves in California are known for their size due to the underwater rock formations and unique ocean topography, which contribute to the creation of powerful and challenging waves.

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